Lewis Hamilton crossed the line with a punctured tyre to win his seventh British Grand Prix, but Valtteri Bottas finished pointless after also suffering a late puncture.
Despite two safety cars, the Black Arrows had looked supremely comfortable all race, racing every lap 1-2 until lap 50, when Bottas punctured at the start of the lap and lost his second place to Max Verstappen.
Verstappen pitted to go for the fastest lap point and duly set it, but then Hamilton also got a flat tyre and had to nurse his car for two-thirds of the final lap.
Verstappen was 35 seconds behind as the de-lamination occurred and thought he’d take the win, but eventually crossed the line six seconds behind the home favourite.
Up to that point it had been a fairly processional race, Bottas got a better start than Hamilton but didn’t challenge him up the inside of turn one and none of the other teams could come close to the Black Arrows.
The Finn was able to keep in touch with the leader but was never in a position to overtake, while Verstappen was similarly untroubled in third after battling Charles Leclerc at the start.
And for the second time this season, Leclerc inherited a podium position after a Mercedes faux pas – his third place going alongside his second place at Austria after Hamilton’s five-second penalty there.
He looked to have overtaken Verstappen into the turn three but the Red Bull ran round the outside and then had the inside line for the second part of the chicane and held onto third.
Up until the drama at the end, the only talking points had been two crashes, one a collision between Kevin Magnussen and Alex Albon that ended the Haas’ race, and the other a very heavy and bizarre crash at Becketts for Daniil Kvyat.
The Russian looked to pick up a rear puncture before entering the corner and spun into the gravel trap before hitting the barrier. His front wing broke clean off at the collision while the rear wing and suspension also collapsed from the impact, but Kvyat was able to walk away.
Albon received a five-second penalty as he threw a half-hearted move up the inside of Magnussen at the final corner, never get alongside and then Magnussen’s rear right hopped over Albon’s front left, and the Dane skated into the gravel trap.
Renault had their best race of the season, finishing fourth and sixth with Daniel Ricciardo and Ocon – the Frenchman’s best performance of the season as he showed strong pace all race despite losing out in the pitstops.
Ocan pulled some impressive overtakes in the race having dropped to eleventh after the second safety car, while Ricciardo traded places with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris throughout the race.
The team was locked in a battle with the Woking outfit for most of the race but benefitted when Sainz also had a late puncture, with Norris splitting the pair to finish fifth.
Behind them it was a good result for Pierre Gasly in seventh, a second and a half ahead of Alex Albon. Lance Stroll had a tough race after Racing Point had high hopes for the circuit, while Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top ten despite Bottas pressuring him at the end.